Are we safer now than we were on 9/11, 14 years ago?

No, I don't think that we are safer now than we were on 9/11, 14 years ago when thousands of innocent Americans were murdered by religious fanatics.

I doubt we'll see a repeat of terrorists hijacking four planes to fly them into buildings because it's harder to get on a plane with a weapon, but that, of course, is no guarantee.

What I mean is the world safer now than we were 14 years ago? Definitely not. We have seen an explosion of terrorists acts and cruelties committed around the world, especially the Middle East. Fourteen years ago, we weren't faced with what's being called the greatest humanitarian crisis since World War Two, thanks to the hell that is called Syria.

Why have things become so undeniably worse?

Because the United States has retreated from  leadership as the most caring, generous and powerful nation in the world. Blame George W. Bush if you must because 9/11 occurred his watch. But things have spiraled into the toilet under Barack Obama's incompetent leadership from behind.

Four years after Obama said that Syrian dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad had to go, he not only remains--responsible for the slaughter and displacement of millions of "his" people--but provides an opening for Russian President Vladimir Putin to push his aggressive Soviet Union rebuilding dream deeper into the Middle East.

Obama indeed has hit the foreign policy "reset" button with his naive, incompetent and dreamy belief that walking softly and carrying a soft stick will by itself persuade the bad guys to restrain themselves and join the  the faithful in kumbaya circle jerk.

Let's see the results: Millions of innocent men, women and children, on the move, fleeing carnage. ISIS on the rampage, murdering in the cruelest way people for their beliefs. Putin taking over Crimea without nary a protest and destabilizing eastern Europe. On and on and on.

Sticking a pin in our vaunted moral leadership is M. Zaher Sahloul in a Chicago Tribune op-ed, "Shouldn't we care more about Syria." Describing America's apathy, he wrote:

In a crisis riddled with international human rights violations ranging from siege to the targeting of elementary schools, with mass atrocities and mass displacement, with civilians facing unprecedented and protracted suffering, why are their lives too politically sensitive to spur sympathy and outrage from the American and global public, and action toward civilian protection?

Why, indeed? Not a few years ago, Americans were rightly feeling sorry that we didn't do more (which was hardly anything at all) to stop the genocide in Rwanda. When we (i.e. President Bill Clinton) intervened to halt the genocide in the Balkans, I, like so many others, opposed it. I was wrong then, as are those who now want to crawl under a rock.

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